Sometimes I fantasise about creating my own beauty brand – and during those daydreams, I find myself pondering the kind of ingredients I’d use, the personality the brand would take, and the kind of customer I’d like the products to appeal to.
Sadly I’ve come to the conclusion that another brand has beaten me to my dream collection. Skincare and fragrance brand L’OCCITANE, created in 1976 in the beautiful French region of Provence, describes itself as “natural, authentic, effective, and deliciously appealing,” – and for me, that is utter perfection.
NATURAL and AUTHENTIC – L’Occitane brings together nature and research, replacing or limiting the concentration of parabens, chemical sun filters, phthalates and silicones. The brand cares about the environment, supporting traditional production methods and local suppliers. The lavender essential oil, for example, is sourced locally in Provence and smells utterly divine – I can’t get enough of both The Harvests Lavender Foaming Bath, £17 and The Harvests Lavender Liquid Soap, £10.50.
EFFECTIVE – Better still, the products really work… I’ve suffered from dry skin for years – and few body moisturisers have softened, smoothed, and hydrated my skin as effectively as the combination of Shea Butter Milk Shower Cream, £11.75, followed by a generous application of Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream, £23.50. And for the complexion, Shea Butter 24hr Ultra Rich Face Cream, £26.50 contains a whopping 25% concentration of Shea Butter to leave skin soft, supple, and protected against harsh environmental conditions. It’s perfect for the coldest winter days.
DELICIOUSLY APPEALING – The more indulgent the product, the more likely I am to invest in it – and L’Occitane has perfected the art of indulgence! The products smell beautiful and boast rich, creamy textures that cocoon the skin in a comforting veil of moisture. Even the traditional soaps are irresistible (and I don’t often say that about soap) – try the Shea Butter Traditional Milk Soap, £6.75, which feels velvety on skin. And for those that like fragrance to smell sweetly seductive, I can personally recommend the Eau des 4 Reines Eau de Toilette, £28.25, which is made by blending different roses together to create a rich, silky, yet wonderfully traditional fragrance.